Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition - Cork International Choral Festival and Chamber Choir Ireland

Deadline: 6 December 2019 17:00

The Seán Ó Riada Competition is a composition competition which invites the submission of new works from Irish composers. The competition is a collaboration between the Cork International Choral Festival and Chamber Choir Ireland. The winning composition will be selected by a panel, comprising of composers and choral experts, and will be a featured work during the Festival’s Choral Symposium. The selected composition will receive its premiere performance during the Festival at a Gala Concert given by Chamber Choir Ireland, conducted by Paul Hillier. The composer of the work will be invited to attend the Festival as its guest and play an active part in the Choral Symposium.

Composers born, or resident, in Ireland are eligible to apply. Applications are welcomed from both established and emerging composers.

While Chamber Choir Ireland (CCI)—a chamber choir of 16 voices—will give the premiere performance of the work, it should have the potential to be accessible for performance by a wider range of high standard amateur Irish choirs.

The following parameters apply:

  • An original work
  • Written for a cappella choir
  • Up to 5 minutes in duration
  • 4 parts (SATB with no divisi)
  • The selected text may be original or existing, in the English, or Irish, language. If in Irish, it is requested that the applicants provide a pronunciation guide/phonetic guide to account for dialect.
  • Texts should be non-liturgical.
  • Any rights related to the use of existing/copyright texts are a matter for the composer to clarify, and receive permission for their use.

The prize :

  • A cash prize donated by the Ó Riada Family, will be awarded to the winning composer.
  • The winning composition will receive its premiere performance during the Festival at a Gala Concert given by Chamber Choir Ireland, conducted by Paul Hillier.
  • The winning composer is required to attend the Cork International Choral Festival as its guest and to participate in the Seminar on New Choral Music, organised as part of a wider Choral Symposium with Chamber Choir Ireland as artists-in-residence. The Seminar on New Choral Music will retain at its centre the work undertaken for many years by the Festival’s established Seminar on Contemporary Choral Music. The wider Choral Symposium will feature a range of related presentations, and workshops.
  • Composer’s name added to the list of Seminar composers. 
  • The Seán Ó Riada Trophy will be presented to the winning composer.
  • As an added incentive to composers, a representative selection of the compositions received will be given a Performance Reading by Chamber Choir Ireland (CCI) during the Festival. This public session will be presented as part of the Choral Symposium, align with the educational activities of both CCI and CICF, and will involve open discussion on the works. It is essential that the invited composers are present for this session. If they are unable to attend, their work will not be performed.

For further details and submission details please see